African Religious Leaders Pledge Greater Action on HIV/AIDS
More than 100 African religious leaders meeting at a conference on HIV/AIDS in Kenya yesterday circulated a draft declaration of principles "acknowledg[ing] that they have been far too silent" on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, the New York Times reports. "We have been reluctant to speak openly about HIV/AIDS and have thus at times contributed to the silence and stigma that surround the disease. We have allowed fear and denial to prevent us from getting good information and education about HIV/AIDS and, in turn, sharing that information with the members of our conference," the declaration states. The religious leaders vowed to urge their followers to "show compassion" to people affected by HIV/AIDS, particularly children who have lost their mother or both parents to the disease. The clerics, who represented 30 countries and a variety of faiths, were attending one of the largest interfaith gatherings of African religious leaders to discuss HIV/AIDS (Lacey, New York Times, 6/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.